‘Dual-Use’ sports centres pass into community hands, assuring the future for school and community sport in Downend, Patchway and Yate
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Sports centres in Downend, Patchway and Yate, which deliver community and school sports facilities, have been handed over from South Gloucestershire Council to the communities they serve in a move that will ensure sustainable sports provision into the future.
The move is part of the council’s £40m savings plan, agreed in 2014, and the council has been working with local partners ensure that the savings from these centres don’t come at the expense of opportunities for local people to participate in sport. Those negotiations have now concluded, with agreements due to be signed in the coming weeks.
Downend School and Patchway Community Colleges have taken over the management of the facilities on their school sites and will continue to work with the Circadian Trust who already operate the centres. Yate Outdoor Sports Complex (YOSC) has been taken on by a partnership between Yate Town Council and the Yate Athletics Club and will be operated by a new charitable organisation YOSC Ltd, with the sports facilities located in Brimsham Green School being taken on by the school.
Chair of the Communities Committee, Heather Goddard, welcomed the progress that has been made towards formalising the handovers and that agreements between all parties had been made.
“We are really pleased to see the future of these valued sports facilities is assured for the future. The handover of responsibility for running these facilities comes at the end of a long process of discussion and negotiation, which ensures public use as well as guaranteeing the schools can continue to use the facilities to deliver their curriculum.
“Looking forwards, we recognise that as a council we will not be directly delivering services, but helping to facilitate others to serve our communities as we seek to meet growing and evolving demand despite the financial constraints placed upon us.”
The council has also allocated £664,000 to support the replacement of all-weather pitches and tracks when the time comes for the facilities to be replaced, to ensure the facilities are developed and maintained so the centres can be self-sufficient.
Cllr Goddard added: “Negotiating these transfers and ensuring that school and community use are protected and guaranteed has taken time to get right. That time has clearly been well spent, however, as we can look forward to sports and healthy lifestyles continuing to be a key part of these communities in the future. We are grateful for the positive response we have had from the centres in working with the Council to achieve this outcome.
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